Showing posts from February, 2006

Spring Cleaning Yet?

So I want to know: How often do you clean your curtains? How often do you vacuum under the beds? Turn your mattresses? Clean the outside of your indoor trashcans? Dust on top of the window and door moldings? Dust the baseboards? Clean behind all the computer stuff? Wash your windows? Wipe the leaves of your indoor plants? Reorganize and clean your medicine cabinets? Clean your lampshades? (This question is especially for Suzanne of Suburban Lesbian ) Clean your carpets? (Beyond vacuuming, of course) Clean out your dryer vent? I am asking because I am curious to see how everyone stacks up against the magazines and their "to do" lists for srpring cleaning. I mean, it can't be just me that stares blankly and strains to remember the last time some of these tasks were accomplished?

Helping Myself as Much as Possible

So her name was Nicole. She was one of the most closed and enigmatic people I have ever met, and she was on my staff. I had "inherited" her, as opposed to hiring her myself. Actually, she was intelligent and articulate, so I probably would have hired her myself if given the chance. Nicole was a born-again Christian. She was quite vocal about her religious beliefs, even to the point of making her co-workers uncomfortable at times. I wouldn't necessarily call it prostyletizing, but it was pretty close. Nicole had been spoken to by the head honchos more than a few times about this tendency, but since she had been under me, there had been no issues regarding religious beliefs. Until one Friday, of all days. That morning she came into my office and announced brusquely, "I can no longer work on the cochlear implant study." I had inherited this particular study along with her as my primary liason. "Why Nicole?" I asked. "Is there some area of it


So the House of Gina has a perplexity. Or is that a perplexion? How's about a dilemma? Yeah, we'll just stick with that. You see, many moons ago, my parents inherited a house. It is next door to them. Their neighbor and good friend put it in a trust for them, and they were quite shocked when they found out. You see, the house has not had hardly anything done to it since perhaps the 60's. Original kitchen and bathrooms, original carpeting, (what's left of it, anyway) original drapes, (same thing) paint, you name it. The only two things that have been done to it are a new roof and new plumbing. Those many moons ago, talk was that Hubba-hubba and I could move into the house. Details were sketchy, timelines non-existent. I am not sure if my parents thought that by just ignoring the whole thing it would just go away. I had tried talking to them about it, but got nowhere and gave up. Not too long ago, my mom springs on me, "So, do you want to move in here?&quo

Home Sweet Home

So having been born here in California, I think I see it differently than a lot of people. First off, make no mistake that there are actually three separate Californias. Southern and Northern California make up the obvious two. But most people overlook Central California, which is home to probably the most fertile farmland in the US, as well as a bastion of Republicans. We have beaches, breathtaking scenery, Hollywood, San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Barbara, the Gold Coast, surfing, great overall weather, earthquakes, Wine Country, skiing, desert, agriculture, the Missions, Lake Tahoe (well, half of it anyway) and almost anything else you can think of other than the World's Largest Ball of Twine. To me, California is a state of contradictions. We have one of the hottest and lowest points on the planet, Death Valley. Then we have San Francisco, where the average annual temperature is 56. We have some of the priciest real estate in the world, yet we also have the largest hom

Mother Nature Hated My Cabinets, Too

So thanks to a bunch of insects, my kitchen cupboards are now thoroughly cleaned and organized. Living here in the hills as we do, we are prone to ant invasions. I'd say about once a year or so, they make a serious go at establishing a route through our house. Usually, we spray a bit outside and at the entry points that we can find, but this time the little buggers were extremely persistent. Try two weeks of persistence. I know that on a scale of creepiness, ants are not very high. But, I do get the willies when I see them swarming on my stored cereal boxes and Goldfish cartons in my pantry. Hubba-hubba once asked, "Do you think ants carry any diseases or anything?" And I replied, "Well, I'm not sure, but they are rather fond of dismantling dead animal carcasses and rotten food, so I am not exactly cool with them being in the house." When we first moved in here, we had perhaps two days in which to move all of our stuff, and we had a lot of it. Because I

I'm a Bit Miffed Myself

So as of yet, we have no second child. Unbeknownst to me, I have had hypothyroidism probably since the birth of Mr. Personality, which made it fairly impossible to conceive. That makes me mad, because I could have been having twice as much fun without having to worry about anything. But I'm off the subject here. When and if I have a second child, I pray that I will not fall victim to a strange phenomenon of motherhood that I have seen time and time again in families that I know. I am talking about the tendency to give the most attention, praise, and effort to the least "deserving" of the children. Before you get all huffy, let me illuminate from my personal experiences. My own grandmother is victim to this peculiar blindness that seems to strike mothers. My uncle, my father's brother, is an ass. That is putting it kindly. He thinks of no one but himself, what is most convenient for him is how he runs his life. His father's birthday party? He's got a

Nothing to See Here

So lots of things have been going on. Just not with me. It seems that all my friends and family have things going on. Two just had a baby, three just got great new jobs, one of my dearest friends is moving away from me across the country, another's son has been making wonderful huge leaps in his autism therapy, two are getting married, one is doing a lot of traveling, two are almost finished with their advanced degrees, and even Hubba-hubba is about ready to sign up for his master's. Me, I'm just sittin' here. The most exciting thing in my life right now is that Mr. Personality is currently peeing in the potty pretty much all of the time during the day. He even peed at a restaurant, and given his fear of public restrooms, that was a mighty feat indeed. It seems that the key to the whole operation was the ability to stand up and do it versus sitting on the seat. I am thrilled with this development, don't get me wrong. However, it really has nothing to do with me

You Wanna Know Me, Huh?

So I don't pay really close attention to how people arrive here at my blog. Oh sure, I have admitted my addiction to the World Map feature of SiteMeter, but other than that, I rarely go looking in-depth for who, exactly, all my lovely readers are. But, and you knew there would be a "but" didn't you? Ah readers, you are also so very intelligent as well as lovely. But on the referral page, there was an entry that caught my eye. It had something like "session login ID/blah blah/jerk company name/blah blah." What was that? So I clicked on it, as SiteMeter turns it into a handy link. I got to a page that said "Session Ended/Login Required" and because I also am so very intelligent, and humble, I managed to find the source of all these shenanigans. Hello, Unnamed Jerk Company! I would never do you the favor of actually listing your name, because publicity is something I would so never want to give you. According to the company's website, Unnamed

Hot (Grand)Mama?

So I am an incorrigible people-watcher. I just love to watch people and see what they are wearing, how they act, how they treat those around them, and how they talk. And lately I have been thinking that if one is a people-watcher, then one almost automatically becomes something of a people-judger. I can't help myself really, even though the judgement may just be a one second sort of thing. We were standing in line for the tram back to the parking structure, and I noticed a woman with two children and a woman who I assumed was grandma. I say assumed because this lady was really trying very hard not to look like a grandma. She was in at least her 50's, closer to the 60's side. She had short red hair done in an almost punk, spiky haircut. She had lowrise jeans with a belt, paired with a sweater, which is what originally got my attention. It was a tight sweater that was sort of furry looking, but it most definitely not angora. No, it looked more like one of those polyest


So leave it to Fisher-Price to make an aquatically themed toy that does not translate into actual water play in any way. The little men sink, the submarine sinks, the little jetpod sinks. But the dumb "cliff face" or whatever, floats. Aaaargh! And my lovely husband, never knowing my secret addiction, until recently, to See's Candy bought me guess what for Valentine's Day. Double aaaargh! But I once read that is not possible to gain more weight on your body than the actual volume of what you ate. Let us hope this is true. Do you know that I got a pat on the shoulder from Fabio, my son's young Euro-trash soccer coach ? Yeeeeaaaaah, Gina's still got it! Just kidding. Italian men generally like curves on a woman, but my curves are more spherical in nature than normal, so I don't think it was that. Where is the laundry folding fairy and what do I have to do to get her to come to my house? Of all the things that make my blood boil, hypocrisy causes actual

With Sincere Apologies to Ms. Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee for thy warm and tasty rotisserie chickens that baste in the glowing flames of fire's warmth. I love thee for the cases of caffiene free Diet Cokes that wait with such patience for me to place so gently and with such care in my cart. For the 24 packs of Easy Mac, that my son shall fulfilleth his need for sustenance quickly and cheaply. Lemon cake, so perfect, light and refreshing for a soul yearning to fool herself into thinking that it is healthy because it contains some form of lemon. Else that would be false advertising, verily? I love thee with the desperation of a mother who still needs to buyeth diapers for a child, a beautiful child, who will not yet pee in ye olde pot. Oh Costco, I am so glad to have found thee! Even though thou makest me pay a membership fee, I feel in my soul that you love me as well. Thy payment of living wages to thouest employees enables me to feel good about purchasing five pounds of potato sala

Saturday Soapbox

So I have been getting Mr. Personality's hair cut professionally since he was less than a year old. This kid was born with a LOT of hair, and by the time he was 10 months or so, I just couldn't hold off any longer. We did at one point attempt to cut it ourselves, which ended up with the predictable stares and whispers that mange was supposed to be an affliction that only affected dogs. I started out taking him to a hoity-toity hair styling salon for kids only, where they had little airplanes and rockets for them to sit in instead of chairs, and individual video monitors at each station. That was fine, but they kept raising their prices, and they were a bit far away. So I began looking for something closer to home. I saw a coupon for a child's haircut at a place not too far from here one day, and we have been going there ever since. I think for over a year. I like my son's stylist, who is herself a mother of three. It is really a unisex salon, owned by a small busin

A Not-So-Expensive Lesson?

So far back in my former life, I used to collect a paycheck. I was a supervisor at a well-known think tank. My job encompassed a lot of duties, as it seems all jobs never adhere completely to their description, and the employers are always quick to add the disclaimer "and other duties as needed." One aspect of my job was to verify and sign for my employees' timesheets. I viewed this as a biweekly chore that I couldn't get done fast enough and move on to other important things. I had a system I used that for years had never failed me. And with that great use of foreshadowing, I am sure you realize that it did indeed fail me. On payday, the particular employee in question, we'll call her Sharon, came up to me. "I didn't get my check, can you ask payroll if they still have it?" Assuming of course that it was payroll's fault, I sent a quick email, probably with a slightly snarky tone. Payroll had never even seen her timesheet. As it turned out,

Drama Queen

So my husband has accused me of being a drama queen about these past few days. Well I'm sorry that a fire that has burned something like 7,000 acres happened to flare up right next to the city I live in, but what am I supposed to do? Ignore it? There was no ignoring that fire last night by our house, that's for sure. That being said, for the original, large fire the only danger we probably really faced was smoke inhalation. I was never really worried about our house catching on fire, it would have had to burn through thousands of homes before it made it here. But there is something strange that happens to you when such a large disaster is going on right by you, and people you know are being told to leave their homes, and they are shutting schools down. Or perhaps I should say, something strange happens to me . It has come out that the Fire Department itself started the large wildfire. They were doing back burns (which is something that normally prevents fires from occurring


Can I say that I have just had one of the most frightening experiences of my life fifteen minutes ago? As I have told you before, we are up on a cliff of sorts, with a "wild" park down below. You can see the other side of the cliffs and a small bit of the park in the photo above. We love this park, and have spent many happy hours in it. Hubba-hubba and I were sitting on the couch, and I heard a rumbling noise. I looked at him and said, "That is not a good sound." We rushed to the windows, as everyone has been on pins and needles with this fire, and we have seen numerous "scouts" down in the park below watching for possible live embers. Sure enough, a fire engine with its lights on was on the street, and going through the park. We saw firefighters with flashlights going on foot into the park, and heard the strange,rather odd whispering, lispy sounds of the blades of a helicopter directly above. The park was alight. I have never experienced such raw panic

The Best I Could Do

  I tried to sharpen it a bit, but this picture in no way conveys how scary it was. In fact, it looks rather pathetic, but I assure you it was anything but. 

Smoked Out

  This was taken yesterday morning as we left our house. The wildfire in the National Forest that is less than 7 miles away from us doubled in size last night, and half of my city is under evacucation. I don't think we will be evacuated, but let's just cross our fingers, shall we? 

From the Desk of Mr. Personality

To: Merck, Eli Lilly, etc... From: Mr. Personality, PhD The intensive psychiatric experiments and observations I have been conducting on Subject A (Mom) continue to be a success. Through various means and tactics including, but not limited to: Being scared of the dark Refusing to go into any section of the house unless accompanied Refusing to play soccer without an adult holding my hand Insisting I don't know how to dress myself Refusing to go anywhere Refusing to leave anywhere Screaming at the top of my lungs to express my displeasure at the rides at Disneyland Screaming at the top of my lungs to express my displeasure at just about anything Waking up multiple times during the night Suddenly not knowing the alphabet Refusing to pee in the potty Yet being mortally offended when my diaper/pull ups need changing Forcing Subject A to ask me things multiple times before being openly displaying my defiance Refusing to play at the park if any other carbon-based life form is also present

The Dean and I

So, an interesting question was posed by Dani from The Yellow Wallpaper : What's a moment that lead to great personal growth? It was my second-to-last semester in college. After six years of truly just mucking about, I hit my last year with a vengeance. Due to carelessness and irresponsibility on my part, I had dropped out and not done very well at most of my general education requirements. Finally, though, I was taking classes that were composed of my major, English Literature. My GPA was vastly improved, but I still had one of those pesky electives to finish. A direction I had at one point considered pursuing was linguistics, and I decided to see if I had any aptitude in the subject. I was shocked to see my normally very small class experience blown up to almost 80 students for this particular course. Mind you, typically we had no more than 25 or so in a normal sized class. The two professors crowed to us on the first day that this was the first time this class was being t

Fumbling for Answers

So Heather, the published writer over at Fumbling for Words (oooh, it gives me a thrill to write that, I can only imagine how she feels) wants to know: If you could only visit one place before you die, what would it be? The first thing that came to mind was how much I want to visit Australia and New Zealand. But then I wondered if, although lovely locations they may be, they were truly fulfilling enough for what would shape up to be my last "vacation." For an experience that would be unforgettable, I would have to say that a trek to the peak of Mt. Everest would most likely be the ticket. I've had my share of fancy restaurants and hotels, of rental cars and maps. To look at the Earth from the highest accessible peak would surely be something I would carry with me always. I wonder if I could just hire some Sherpas to carry me, though? Even with a litter of some sort? Fine, I'll just have to get in shape or something, geez. What is the greatest quality you want Mr. P